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"Oh, my aching back!" How many times have you said that? You've taken medications that may or may not help, or at least, not all the time. Perhaps you've even had surgery. Some studies have shown that back or disk surgery is useless. Even the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine has found no correlation between back pain and disk abnormalities.

There are other treatable conditions that cause back pain, and to be sure, these should be checked out: tumors, infections, osteoporosis. But if those have been ruled out, what do you do? Read on, relief could be just a paragraph away.

It might be time to look into stretching exercises. Physicians use to believe that bed rest was the treatment for back pain, but now they know that exercise is the most important thing. Stretching and strengthening tight, weak muscles improves posture and helps muscle fatigue and spasm, which are leading causes of back pain. Try to get at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. This boosts metabolism and keeps excess weight off. Obesity exacerbates back pain.

In addition, try:

a.. Pelvic tilt. Lie on your back with knees bent. Suck in stomach and tighten buttocks. Keep feet and lower back flat on floor, raise hips. Hold for ten seconds, release slowly and repeat.
b.. Lower back stretch. Lie on back, legs straight. Clasp hands behind right knee and slowly pull toward chin, keeping left leg straight. Hold for ten seconds, repeat with left knee.
c.. Abdominal curl. Lie on floor with knees bent. Tuck chin into chest and place hands across chest. Tighten abdominal muscles until shoulders lift off floor. Hold for three seconds, slowly release, repeat 20 times.
It's not hard, it takes a little time, but more importantly, it could be another way to spell R-E-L-I-E-F.